Pride month has officially arrived and, with it, a new crop of rainbow-clad collections. Apparel brands everywhere are releasing fresh designs to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, including footwear giants like Uggs and Dr. Martens.
But the sneaker scene is also stepping into Pride month, in a big way. From new colourways to queer artistry, some of the sneaker world’s most notable names have dropped inventive collections that go beyond the rainbow.
Here are our top picks for your 2021 Pride sneaker collection — and what each release is doing to truly make an impact in the queer community.
This is hands-down one of the best Pride releases of the year, so we’re putting it top of the list. Converse’s “Pride” collection was inspired by LGBTQIA+ members of the brand’s All-Stars global community. Each All-Star worked with artists to design footwear that represented them and celebrated the path to self-love.
This is Converse’s 6th annual Pride collection. Since 2015, the brand has donated over $1.3 million to queer organizations around the world. This year, sales from the collection will help support the It Gets Better Project, which creates programming that empowers LGBTQ+ youth.
Co-designed by Cara Delevingne, Puma’s Pride month drop puts a queer voice in the driver’s seat. Delevingne has been a Puma ambassador since 2016 and an activist for the LGBTQIA+ community for even longer. With the “Forever Free” collection, Puma and Delevingne brighten up old classics with rainbow suede and uppers.
20% of the proceeds from this year’s collection will go to The Cara Delevingne Foundation, which supports a variety of queer organizations, including The Trevor Project.
Updating a selection of classics with Pride-themed colourways and apparel, Reebok’s “All Types Of Love” collection was made with more than rainbows in mind. The collection as a whole is inspired by “inclusion, protest signs, and the legacy of drag ballroom legends.”
Instead of designing a collection for the queer community, Reebok made sure queer artists were the ones doing the designing. Every piece was crafted by Colorful Soles, the brand’s LGBTQIA+ employee community, and created in partnership with the iconic House of Ninja.
Reebok will be donating $75,000 to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, which advocates for all gender identities and expressions to have access to social, health, and legal services.
This celebratory pack from New Balance actually feels like a celebration. Featuring bright and whimsical art by Hong Kong visual artist, Zoie Lam, the “Everyone’s Welcome” collection represents the liveliness of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Both the Fresh Foam Tempo runner and the classic 574 get dressed up in a new wave of colour, complete with heart-shaped NB logos on the tongues.
Over the next two years, New Balance has committed to donating $100,000 to support GLSEN’s “Changing the Game” program. This impactful initiative aims to create safe spaces for queer athletes, from the locker room to the court.
We love all the kicks on this list, but we’re slightly obsessed with these Pride-inspired Vans. Featuring exciting new colourways and textiles, bold prints, and updated classics, the “Pride” collection is jam-packed with options for your all-year-long celebrations.
Vans will also be donating $200,000 to four different organizations across the globe, including GLSEN and Casa 1.
With a focus on the connections between love and sport, the 2021 Adidas Pride pack has a fun variety of sneakers and accessories to choose from.
Although no proceeds from the collection are going towards queer initiatives, Adidas is actively supporting Athlete Ally, an organization that advocates for queer inclusion in sports.
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